Monday, October 6, 2014

Avoiding common pitfalls when seeking truth - fear

To continue this discussion regarding the seeking of truth, I would like to discuss some of the common pitfalls that will keep you in the dark.  This post is about fear.

2 Timothy 1

7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear does not come from God.  Fear comes from the adversary.  The adversary will use fear to keep you in the dark and from discovering truth and light.

This is a continuation of the last post.  Fear of being deceived is often one of the first obstacles to be overcome.  Yes, we can all be deceived.  However, I don't think God wants us to cower in the corner afraid.  If we are to learn and grow, part of that should include our ability to discern.  If we are to become like God, we need the ability to discern truth from error.  This doesn't just happen by avoiding anything we fear may disagree with our current understanding.

Much of the darkness or unbelief we have within us has likely come from the traditions of our fathers.  It is inherited.  We are born into it.  Identifying and letting go of unbelief requires search for the light which displaces it.  If someone in your current sphere is using scare tactics to keep you from investigating something, studying something, learning and praying about something; you may want to question their motives.  Are they truly trying to protect you, protect themselves, or keep you from discovering the truth?  If someone is telling you to "doubt your doubts" you may want to ask yourself why if something inside of you has questions, or concerns, you are being told to ignore them and blindly accept their version of the truth instead.  Some doubts are valid, some doubts are sown by Satan.  Again, it takes discernment to distinguish between the two.  If you just cast all doubts aside without consideration of their source, you are stopping yourself from growing.

If you take the Holy Spirit as your guide, it can lead you to discover the light that displaces the errors in your current belief system.  Trust the inner voice.  If the inner voice is telling you to search a topic or learn something, trust that - even if it goes against what the outer voices may be telling you.  In all cases, proceed with prayer.

An important part of learning discernment, is learning to distinguish thoughts coming from evil spirits vs. thoughts that are coming from you.  Evil spirits try to masquerade the thoughts and ideas they give you as your own.  They will try to lead you toward more darkness, not light.  How much access they have to you is directly related to what types of media, voices, music, shows, etc you allow into your daily life.  Fill your life with the good, the light, and wholesome in life and you will be more able to perceive and identify that which is dark.  Fill your life with things that are dark and invite darkness and it all blends together, thus making it harder for you to discern the thoughts coming from evil spirits.  Just realizing that the evil spirits can be there and can be whispering lies to you is a big part of the battle.  As Nephi told us, one of the tricks of the devil is to tell us that he doesn't even exist.

2 Nephi 28
22.   And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

The Holy Spirit is also there to lead us and guide us.  Learning to discern when the voice of the Spirit is talking to you is the most sure way to find the correct path to truth.  

Finally, it is helpful to understand that our all truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it.

Section 93
30.   All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
As we grow, we become capable of receiving new truths.  Here is a blog post from a friend that discusses this concept.

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